The College Student’s Guide To Buying Your First Laptop
For college students these days, laptops are a basic necessity – be it to get work done, or simply to loosen up and take pleasure in an evening with friends. Buying a new laptop when there’s so many to pick from can be complex, but there are some fundamental things you should know when you go shopping for one.
There are a lot of diverse options here but to keep it plain, try and glue to one of the Intel processors, starting with ‘Core i’, and then a number.
If your field of study requires only basic usage like browsing and documentation, then an i3 would do just fine. However, if you need to run software like Photoshop, MATLAB or AutoCAD, then consider buying a powerful processor. Look for a 4th or at least a 3rd generation Intel processor. An i5 will contentedly handle most things you throw at it.
4GB is the least amount of RAM you should have in a laptop, but you’re better off with 6GB. That will run everything you need without exhausting you or prying with multitasking. Choose laptops with upgradeable RAM wherever possible so that down the line, you can slope it up to 8, or even 16GB. RAM is reasonably inexpensive and easy to install.
Target for pace over size. You can save stuff on a cheap external drive, in a thumb drive or in the cloud if need be. What you can’t do is get better performance out of your laptop. For beginners, 5,400-rpms is what you would like in a drive speed, but if you can find a 7,200-rpm model, you will get quicker boot times, better loading speed and quicker data recovery.
Look for a dual-band Wi-Fi card that can grip both older routers and the more modern ones (802.11b/g/n/ac). The newest AC standard is three times faster than the previous N standard.
You should have at least two USB ports; if possible one should support faster USB 3.0 speeds.
Longer battery life
Get a laptop that guarantees quality battery life, and opt for an extended or secondary battery whenever possible. In general, you’re better off buying a system with more than 6 hours of juice, despite the price.
Keyboard and touchpad
The keyboard should be pliable and comfy, not soggy. The touchpad is similarly significant; you’ll want to make sure the receptiveness is smooth.
An out-and-out graphics card like NVIDIA’s GeForce series has its own processor and RAM for managing complex 3D graphics, which hits the battery life of your laptop.
People may tell you that you need a laptop with an impartial graphics card but if you are in college, you can live with a little cooperation. And an integrated graphics card, with an upright processor and enough RAM, will still run most games at slightly reduced graphics settings.
CD Drive and storage
If you’re an engineering student, you absolutely have to get used to Linux. The Linux ecosystem delivers massive power in the hands of those who know how to use it, and is bread and butter for developers.
If you are into gaming, designing, or video editing, stick to Windows which has the leading support in terms of third party applications.
However, if you are eager to get a MacBook and are thinking if OS X is for you, then the rest is guaranteed – it can handle everything rather well with the only exception of heavy gaming.
Picture courtesy- partition-tool.com, brighthub.com, zdnet.com, lenovo.com, techbzar.com, androidcentral.com, pcadvisor.co.uk, pcworld.com, mln.com.au and wccftech.com
by techtalks @TechTalks September 28, 2015 10:41 AM UTC